How to Step Up to the Innovative Presentation Board

By Ray Anthony, Barbara Boyd

Aside from being effective visual tools, a key reason to consider using presentation boards alongside your tricked-out technology-based innovative presentation is variety, change, and redirected attention. Think of your favorite food, one that you love.

As tasty as it is, could you eat it three times a day for days or even weeks on end? As much as you love it, after a period of time, you’ll want something different. Staring at a projection screen or large television — even if you have great visuals or videos — can be tiring after a while.

Transitioning to another form of visuals breaks that visual routine and snaps and reinvigorates people’s attention to something new.

In today’s fast-paced world, people measure attention spans in minutes, not hours, and people often have to be ingenious about giving people variety to keep them interested and focused. This is where a presentation board (or several) can help.

Say you’re giving a relatively extensive business, sales, or technical presentation that lasts an hour or more. You’re using your tablet or computer to project a great mix of compelling illustrations, photos, videos, and animations.

Suddenly, the screen goes blank, you walk to the side of the room, pick up your easel holding the large presentation board (with the interesting graphics on it), and begin pointing to and talking about a specific captivating illustration of your new product. This simple change can make a difference with your audience.

How to use an innovative presentation board to your benefit

Why use a board when you can just project the same visuals on a screen or large television?

  • Variety

  • Change

  • Focus

When you transition from the projector and physically pick up (if easily moved) the board or position it closer to a small group of people, you add variety to the pace, you change visuals, and you lead the group to shift and refocus their attention. The more you find ways to incorporate meaningful visual and physical body shifts, the better you can minimize fidgets and lulls in your presentation.

You don’t want to get stuck in the technology-and-presentation-board rut either. Use this combination only when it makes sense to, and when you have a clear purpose in mind. Ask yourself, “What special visuals or select information can I put on a presentation board to help emphasize, highlight, clarify, or reinforce the ideas I show in my projected visuals and create needed transitions in my presentation?”

How to reach out to your innovative presentation audience

A presentation board enables you to position it and you nearer to your group. Your physical proximity helps you develop rapport with your audience and have more direct eye contact with individual people. It permits you to get up close to the group with your board and easily point out those things you want to stress.

Using attractive, professionally designed presentation boards helps differentiate you from other presenters who are less creative and flexible in their presentation style. With today’s ability to print large, colorful, high-resolution images on large boards, these visuals are a worthwhile companion to digital presentations.

Using a clever, multi-part presentation board system where you put on and take off sections using Velcro-type or magnetic attachments, you can actually add a bit of theatrics (in addition to revealing information at the appropriate moment). Practice so that you can make the changes smoothly as you continue talking.

Combining a large board with projected visuals enables you to show the entire big-picture strategy, solution, plan, or engineering design on the board and use projected visuals to show details. You can then go back and forth between the details in the projected visuals and the overview on the board. This way, you keep the audience on track with a logical flow of information and points.

Sometimes companies develop attractive boards that stand on an easel in the corner of a room or are mounted on the walls of their meeting rooms. These function more as displays than as active tools, but they’re effective in reinforcing the message the company wants to communicate.